Kristin Lavransdatter II: The Wife

November 12, 2007 at 9:11 pm 2 comments


This is the second in the trilogy, set in medieval Norway. Here‘s what I thought of the first book. I’m not sure what I make of this one, really. I found the first half very tedious – Kristin moaning about her sins (getting pregnant before she got married), and generally making her husband very unhappy because of it. Things warmed up in the second half when she stopped complaining about her husband and started trying to get him out of jail.

I love the descriptions of Norway – the light and the lakes and the meadows. When I think about the book, it seems glassy and smooth and slightly two dimensional. Blue, and cool. But I looked forward to creeping into bed with it every night. And it changes pace every now and again and becomes heartbreakingly beautiful. I’ve nearly finished the third one, so I’ll give you more of a run-down then. Not one of my favourite books in the world. But I have a feeling it’s the sort of book that stays with you – a little bit of Kristin’s Norway has a place in my heart.

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Entry filed under: medieval, Nobel Prize, Scandinavia, Sigrid Undset.

New Books Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Imani  |  November 13, 2007 at 3:33 am

    I was looking at a few of your other posts and realised that you had a few books on medieval literature. Have you read the one by Michael Alexander yet? I’ve just discovered him through his translations of Beowulf and The Earliest English Poems.

  • 2. cipriano  |  November 19, 2007 at 5:33 am

    You make the book sound very worthwhile.
    I’ve had a Halldor Laxness on my shelf for the past ten years… perhaps I should read the thing.
    — Cip

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